FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 31, 2017 – The simplest of things

photo-20170130154651135Photo prompt provided by Jessica Haines.

The simplest of things

One of my most brilliant childhood memories waits in that wonderfully crisp and renewed time following the violence of a summer storm.

Any distant rumble sent my mother to the centre of our home, each flash of lightning, a harbinger of the gut trembling roll of thunder sure to follow. Oblivious to her fear, I would don my gumboots, pull on a rain jacket, just to keep mother happy, and wait for the rumble to grow distant and the last of the pelting rain to be blown out to sea. Then off I would run, down the washed-out gravel drive, towards that perfect dip in the road, where the all too briefly fleeing runoff pooled and swirled before bullying through the narrow drainage pipe leading to the neighbour’s dam.

As the receding flow eddied past my ankles I remember feeling as if the clearing sky and that all too fleeting burst of chilled water held all anyone could ever need to be happy.

By Sally-Ann Hodgekiss in response to
FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 31, 2017

FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 10, 2017 – Douglas


Photo prompt provided by Shivangi Singh


“Can I do it? Please?”

Dad paused his shovelling to wipe the perspiration from his crinkled brow. “It’s too hot sweetie.”

I bounced around the tiny, potted fir as if Douglas really was the puppy I had begged for. “Please. You said he was mine.”

Dad smiled down at me before returning his efforts to the growing hole. “You get the most important job.”


“You get to watch him grow. One day, he’ll be as tall as…”

“As me?”

He laughed. “As the roof!”

Eyes shaded from the glaring sun, I peered towards the lofty roof peak, knowing he was telling a huge fib.


It’s been two decades since Dad passed. The house went, but Douglas remained and so did I. No amount of protest could convince the homeowner’s association to save him. How could a lifetime of memories ever compete with a new swimming pool?


Sally-Ann Hodgekiss

FFfAW Challenge-Week of January 10, 2017 – Hope


Photo prompt provided by Louise – The Storyteller’s Abode. 

We packed them in so tightly, a woman towards the back whimpered.

None turned to offer help or switch places.

The youngest children were last to fill the bottom level, frightened into a silence more heart-breaking than if they had cried out or struggled.

I tried not to make eye contact as I closed the lower door. Instead, I followed protocol, stoically channelling the next group towards the upper deck.

Did they know?

They had to by now. One by one, TV and radio stations went dark. Supply trucks never arrived. Those sent in search of answers never returned. Still, even when the power flickered out for the last time, the desperate hauled up the putrid water from the river and continued to ration the last of their food.

The boats were meant to bring hope, and yet they must have seen, even in the eyes of those cajoling them towards the ‘arks’, that the virus left no room for even that.

And yet we had to do something. Didn’t we?